How Would You like to Listen to the Same Joke?

How Would You like to Listen to the Same Joke?

There was a boss who had a terrible habit of telling stale jokes, but his staff would always laugh at them as heartily as if they were hearing them for the first time. One day his secretary did not laugh at his joke, and a new employee, puzzled, asked her why she had chosen not to laugh. She said, “I have left the job. This is my last day.”

You would not like to listen to the same joke over and over again, would you? Then why do you live the same life over and over again? It is just like hearing that same joke, so if you are getting bored you have no one to blame but yourself. Just take a look at the life: your hobbies, your work, your relationships – yes, they give a certain amount of pleasure, but the honeymoon is all too soon over – and then great frustration sets in, because you cannot see why the joy disappeared: everything is the same, and yet nothing is as it was.

In fact the moment you repeat something, even for a second time, you are already losing the fun of it because now you know what will happen. When it happened for the first time you were in for a great surprise, and that element of surprise was an essential part of the joy it brought. Now there is no surprise. Life is a like one big joke, and the reason it is worth living is its very unpredictability, the unknown element. The whole art of a good joke is that it takes a sudden turn, the punch line takes you by surprise – you were expecting a certain, logical sequence, and then it takes such an absurd turn that you could not have imagined it. That very shock releases tension. You were coming to an inner climax and then, suddenly, what happens is so unexpected that you can do nothing but laugh at the whole ridiculousness of logic and of life.

So how can life become an untold joke? Take a tip from Osho: “The experience of meditation is the only unique experience in life. Everything else is repetitive. Meditation is never repeated, because it is forever. Once it happens, it remains – there is no way to fall out of it. One can fall in love, one can fall out of love; one can fall in meditation, but one cannot fall out of meditation. The reason one cannot fall out of it is because the moment you fall in, you disappear – there is nobody to fall out, nobody remains to fall out. Meditation means the disappearance of the mind and its center, the ego; hence all other experiences, howsoever beautiful they may be, become repetitive. And anything that is repeated loses blissfulness, it loses newness, it loses youthfulness, aliveness – slowly it becomes flat. The peak that was once there in the beginning disappears… that state of nothingness, nobodiness, is meditation. Hence I don’t know any other experience which can be called unique, except meditation.”

By Amrit Sadhana

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